THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews

mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/18/14 at 12:12am
So the first show of the fall season is starting previews tonight. Is anybody going?
Anything regarding shows stated by this account is an attempt to convey opinion and not fact.
gfaustswa
Leading Actor
joined:3/30/07
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/18/14 at 01:17am
I'm very anxious to hear what people think about this show. I'm heading back to the city in Nov and this show is on my "maybe/maybe not" list. Please post your thoughts!
FloydJoe2
Chorus Member
joined:4/28/14
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/18/14 at 11:16am
I will be at Wednesdays preview! Hopefully there will be some thoughts before then.
promisespromises2
Broadway Star
joined:5/23/13
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/18/14 at 04:01pm
gfaustswa- Same! It's on my friend and I's "backup" list. She REALLY wants to see it and I like the people in it. Very interested to hear about the reviews.
mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/18/14 at 09:34pm
did anybody see this?
Anything regarding shows stated by this account is an attempt to convey opinion and not fact.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/18/14 at 09:45pm
We probably have to wait until the first preview actually ends before we should expect any reviews...
formerly oasisjeff on here.
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/18/14 at 11:22pm
I'm just getting back from the first preview and thought things were in decent shape. I liked the performances more the play itself; were it not a revival I would suggest trimming it down to an intermissionless 100 minutes, but that's obviously not going to happen.

It's a weird piece. The entire plot could easily be summed up in one or two sentences, so don't go looking for a lot of action here, and at the same time it's not overly talky either. It's more of an atmospheric play about what life was like for young people in early 80s New York.

This Is Our Youth reminded me of many of the plays you can see at The Rattlestick, The New Group and others of their ilk. The structure and style of dialogue seem to have been copied many times over causing the play to feel unjustly derivative.

Michael Cera was essentially onstage the entire time and he provided the most laughs. There's a lot of George Michael in the character, but it worked for me.

Culkin had a real asshole of a character to work with, but he injected as much humanity into him as can be hoped for. He had a monologue late in act two that dragged, but that will work itself out in previews. (Overall the last 20 minutes or so were a little rough in the pacing dept.)

Tavi Gevinson, who I was unfamiliar with, had an earthy Scarlett Johansson quality to her performance.

It was a perfectly respectable production, but probably won't be something I run out to recommend to friends and co-workers.
Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 12:02am
Yakety, yakety, yakety, yakety, yak.

If these are our youth, then they a) never shut up, and b) have nothing remotely of interest to say.

Michael Cera lacks vocal shading, and his performance becomes wearisome quickly. At a certain point, another character screams, "I'm so sick of you!" I felt the same way after about five minutes. By evening's end, I felt similarly about the other two characters as well.

The set was good.

Updated On: 8/19/14 at 12:02 AM
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 12:03am
What did you wear?
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 12:10am
How was the direction? Nice set?
WhizzerMarvin TrinaJasonMendel
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/05
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 12:23am
There is only one setting: Dennis' apartment. The designer wisely boxed in the center of the stage as the apartment and filled in the sides and background with rooftops, fire escapes and tall apartment facades. It allows the action to remain confined to a smaller apartment, yet still give you a feel of the city.

It was clear to me that the play would work better off-Broadway, in an intimate setting. The set at least aids in giving you that smaller feel.



Marie: Don't be in such a hurry about that pretty little chippy in Frisco. Tony: Eh, she's a no chip!
Updated On: 8/19/14 at 12:23 AM
indytallguy
Featured Actor
joined:7/13/08
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 03:55am
The more intimate feel at Steppenwolf sounds like it is missed here a bit.
tobiasragg
Broadway Legend
joined:7/17/06
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 09:22am
I have a ticket for this Saturday matinee, curious to see. If anyone is interested, TodayTix had a weird technical glitch yesterday and is offering $20 off with the code OOPS. I was able to get a balcony seat for $25 including fees.
"Bring down my things. I'm going out of this world exactly the way I came in to it: wearing a hat." - Colleen Donaghy, "30 Rock" -- "The choice may have been mistaken, the choosing was not."
evic
Broadway Star
joined:3/5/04
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 11:00am
I don't know why, but the title turns me off. I believe, even though it is a limited run, that it won't last too long.
newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 11:15am
I vaguely remember seeing the 1st version of this play Off Broadway back in '96; my main memory is that I thought Mark Ruffalo (new to me at the time) had a great face. There was, it seems to me, a glut of plays like this at the time - disaffected 20-somethings talking romantically and nihilistically at length in urban settings.

I don't think it's a classic, or even the kind of play one needs to see more than once, even with "stars."
neonlightsxo
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/08
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 11:28am
evic, you're obviously not familiar with the play.

This play is now taught in drama school, at least it was in mine, and it's an excellent play. One of Lonergan's best. I won't be seeing it, however, because I'm not interested in a "Broadway" commercial mounting of it. It doesn't belong there.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 12:02pm
It's taught in drama school because it provides decent age-appropriate contemporary scenework.
SonofRobbieJ
Broadway Legend
joined:12/10/09
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/19/14 at 12:08pm
I mean...everyone in my school had to do a scene from HOOTERS cause it was easy to relate to and age-appropriate. Doesn't mean it's an important work for the theater.

I saw THIS IS OUR YOUTH at Second Stage in '97(?). Though I didn't think it was a perfect play, I thought the dialogue was pretty spot on and Ruffalo was sensational. And it contained one of the most shocking moments I've ever seen on stage.

**SPOILER**

When Ruffalo knocked over the plate with the mountain of coke on it, every 20 and 30-something in the theater absolutely gasped. It was almost physically painful to watch that.
FloydJoe2
Chorus Member
joined:4/28/14
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/20/14 at 10:59pm
I just got out from tonight's preview and absolutely loathed this. 2 hours and 25 minutes that don't amount to much unfortunately. Michael Cera's makes decent character choices, but they get lost in the Cort Theatre unfortunately. I would have liked him more if it was in a smaller venue. Culkin does what he can with a role that makes you so strongly dislike him, and Gevinson does what she can with a boring part.
everythingtaboo
Broadway Legend
joined:5/5/04
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/20/14 at 11:45pm
I was expecting better notices for Culkin. Despite it being in previews, he's done this play several times ever the last decade or so, including on the West End.

(On a side note, when I saw it in the West End, Culkin had already left, and I had Freddie Prinze Jr and Chris Klein!)


"Hey little girls, look at all the men in shiny shirts and no wives!" - Jackie Hoffman, Xanadu, 19 Feb 2008
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/20/14 at 11:53pm
Now that seems like some odd casting.
FloydJoe2
Chorus Member
joined:4/28/14
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/21/14 at 12:41am
everythingtaboo, it's not that Culkin isn't good, it's just that his character is so downright horrible to Warren. He's doing the best he can to be likable though and he does get a fair share of laughs.
musicman_bwayfan
Broadway Star
joined:6/5/05
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/21/14 at 01:29am
How's the stage door been? Any merchandise yet?
ajh
Featured Actor
joined:5/6/11
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/21/14 at 01:44am
For the record, Culkin played the other role in the London production. I saw all 4 London casts and Jake Gyllenhaal was stunning in that role; this was before he was a star and so he was a delightful surprise. When the second cast came in, and the (at the time) far better known Matt Damon took over from Hayden Christensen the business went through the roof. I always found the piece charming and engaging but I am a little surprised to see it revived on Broadway in 2014.
Auggie27
Broadway Legend
joined:10/13/03
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/21/14 at 08:55am
What Whizzer says above is definitive: this play has been so copied in style, tone, plot and even dialog, it's among the most influential of the past twenty years. It's almost a sub-genre. (The way, say, "Reckless" was once a model, i.e. the "Fuddy Mears" school.) If you judge any major or minor playwriting competition, you read countless 3rd generation versions of this play, some urban, some suburban in setting. They have a kind of obsession with the disaffection of youth, and all of the tropes and even props (the obligatory drug paraphernalia) feel generic. I bet this now seems a send-up of the genre rather than a new look at one of its cornerstones.

But none of this is Lonergan's fault. He wrote a shrewd, accurate, entertaining play. The trouble may be: the copies have been so plentiful, the original model now feels stale. I saw the original production, and the synergy among the cast members was so wonderful and persuasive, it was a unique night. It's hard to imagine a play of this type feeling half as fresh in 2014 unless something truly magical happens among the members of the trio performing it. A consensus on that isn't in.





"I'm a comedian, but in my spare time, things bother me." Gary Shandling
Updated On: 8/21/14 at 08:55 AM
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
THIS IS OUR YOUTH previews
Posted: 8/21/14 at 10:28am
"The trouble may be: the copies have been so plentiful, the original model now feels stale."

Actually, how original was the model? The same assemblage of slacker losers appeared two years previously in the parking lot of SubUrbia, and in the 60s, Moonchildren, and who knows how many plays after that presented us with their distant cousins.

Wouldn't it have been nice if playwrights had written plays about young people who weren't irresponsible, doped-up jerks?

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